Help with swift ID

To: "Oriental Birding" <>, "Eurobirdnet" <>, "BIRDWG01" <>, "Birding NZ" <>, "Birding Aus" <>, "Birdchat" <>
Subject: Help with swift ID
From: "Trevor Hardaker - ZEST for BIRDS" <>
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2005 18:25:22 +0200
Greetings from Cape Town,

Hopefully, some of you out there can help us with the identification of a
swift that was seen on Sunday north of Cape Town.

The bird was in a mixed group of swifts comprising mostly Common Swifts with
a few Littles, White-rumpeds and Alpines thrown in. It was picked up fairly
easily on its different structure and apparent paler colouring and was
tentatively identified as a Pallid Swift. Subsequently, a number of people
viewed the photos taken of this bird and agreed that it was, in all
likelihood, a Pallid Swift.

However, there has now been a suggestion that the bird is in fact a Common
Swift of the race "pekinensis". We were under the impression that
structurally, "pekinensis" should be the same as nominate "apus" whereas the
bird in question was noticeably different showing broader and
proportionately shorter wings, a proportionately shorter and bulkier "hind
body" and a shorter tail amongst other things.

We have put a few photos on the "recent rarity photos" page on our website
at of the bird under the label "Pallid Swift" (for
now anyway....) and would appreciate it if you could go and have a look and
let us know what you think. Unfortunately, the exposure in some of the shots
is not great and therefore does not show the mousy brown colour of the bird
accurately, but the general shape and structure is easy to see.

Please email me any comments you may have as to the identification of this

Thanks and regards
Trevor Hardaker and John Graham
Cape Town, South Africa

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